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Ugly Fish

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  386 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Ugly Fish is ugly and big and mean, and he won't share his driftwood tunnel or his special briny flakes with anyone. And that means the wimpy little fish who keep showing up in his tank have got to go. But then one day someone bigger and uglier and maybe even meaner arrives . . . and suddenly Ugly Fish isn't feeling quite so confident anymore.

From Kara LaReau, author of th
...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 604)
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Regina
Ugly Fish is the RULER of his tank and he likes having things his own way. He likes having his flakes each day, and he likes swimming around, but what he doesn't like is sharing any of those things with other fish.
When they enter the tank, with their friendly smiles and happy attitudes he has a very special way of dealing with them.
He EATS THEM!

Ugly Fish is content to live his solitary life until one day, he has a change of heart, and wouldn't you know it, in comes Smiley Fish...a much larger an
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I liked this story but, oddly, I never caught on that it was a story about bullying until I read the author information on the back flap of the dust jacket. I just thought it was a story about how the tables can be turned on mean and self-centered people, and how those who are mean to others can be the victims of meanness in turn. I think what disconnected the bullying idea from the story for me was the fact that Ugly Fish ate his tank-mates. A bully doesn't generally destroy others; he wants th ...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cindy
Great illustrations, and a cautionary tale everyone sometimes needs to be reminded of, regardless of their age: If you act like a jerk, someone is going to settle your hash sooner or later.

Now rest assured, Ms Lareau does not use language like 'jerk' anywhere in this book. Instead it is about a pretty but greedy fish who did not want to share his home, despite repeated attempts to provide him with friends. When he finally comes around to the idea that it might be nice to have some company, his
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Amy
Loved the pictures, good moral, entertaining story. The kids laughed a few times, and enjoyed the anticipation of discovering what lesson Ugly Fish was going to learn. I enjoyed that this was a book aimed at bullies instead of a book aimed at those who are bullied. Bullying requires a victim and an aggressor, and it's a problem that needs to be addressed from both angles. This book takes a look at the aggressive side of the equation in a way that is engaging, probably subtle for many kids, and i ...more
Monica
I love this book. I have read it to children, adults, and college students, varying the message to fit the discussion. For children, there are powerful messages about bullying. For adults, there are messages about workplace politics, and how one should conduct themselves. For college students, I used this book when I taught creative writing and also when I taught a Psychology class. My own children love this book, and can relate on a simple humorous note. It is one to own, not borrow.
Ruth
Six and four year old love this one. though to be honest I think the fact that they own a fish tank made them the think the moral of the story was, "Of COURSE you don't put fish with big mouths into the same tank as littler fish!!" rather than an anti-bullying/you get what's coming to you message that was obviously intended. ;) great illustrations and a fun read aloud to make different voices for each fish.
Haley
Dr. McCracken's read aloud performance of this book made me love this book instantly. It is an entertaining story that will leave kids laughing and anticipating what comes next. The moral of the story is something that should be discussed after reading because students will have a varied natural response. The illustrations were great and engaging.

Tyler Jing
"A nice wooden cave, special flake food, swimming around, what could be better? But this is all MINE, MINE I TELL YOU! I love my life and I'll never share the goodness!" But he'll regret that choice. Being selfish is not the best thing to do in life, which Ugly Fish is soon gonna find out.

I picked up this book when I saw the front cover. I was always a fan of children's picture books. There so fun to read! And I saw the title: Ugly Fish. Oooo... sounds cool. Then I saw the picture. Oooo...looks
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Beth
Before there was I WANT MY HAT BACK and THIS IS NOT MY HAT there was UGLY FISH.
Liz
Week 5
Ugly Fish lives all alone in a tank...it's just the way he likes it. One day, one at a time, new fish are added to the tank. Ugly FIsh shows them around, lets them glide in and out of the driftwood tunnel, lets them taste-test the special briny flakes, and then...HE EATS THEM! Bored with no friends to swim with, he wishes he hadn't ate his tank-mates. Ugly Fish gets what he wishes for, but his new roommate is not used to sharing a tank.

"Ugly Fish" is appropriate for ages 4+ (Grades PreK+)
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Luann
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
thuy
I picked up Ugly Fish at my local library last week based purely on the cover. Ugly Fish stared at my defiantly as if daring me to read him. Not one to be cowed by a mere illustration, I took the book home with me.

Ugly Fish lives in a very nice fish tank all by himself. He has a driftwood tunnel and is fed special fish flakes. Life is great until, one day, a new fish arrives. The new fish wants to be friends with Ugly Fish but Ugly Fish doesn't want to share his tank with anyone. So what does U
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Heydi Smith
So this book is a little crude with fishes eating each other but it is pretty fun and really a book about justice. If Ugly Fish had not eaten his friends then he wouldn't have been lonely and really the larger fish probably wouldn't have been bought.

This is a great book about consequences, about thinking your actions through before you take them.

Jackie
Ugly Fish sees new additions to his tank as nothing more than a mere tasty snack...but, as his need for dominance in the tank diminishes, he grows lonely without some other fish to wander in and out of his driftwood tunnel, swim in his huge tank, and eat delicious briny flakes. Teensy fish, kissy fish, spotty fish and stripy fish all try to be his friends, but all ugly fish does is tease and bully them until, alas, they are no more. Until one day, ugly fish gets a taste of his own medicine and t ...more
Robyn Jones
4 STARS!! Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau and Scott Magoon is a surprising read. I'll start there because Ugly Fish is mean and ugly and happy with his solitary existence. Drop in Teensy Fish. If you think this is a heartwarming tale of two opposites coming together you're only right if you mean Ugly Fish chases Teeensy Fish and eats him in one bite. We meet a few more fish for a second before grumpy Ugly Fish chomps them too. This is a total fish snuff book and I laughed the whole time I read it. My s ...more
Donna
A cute book about a big ugly fish who rules his tank with terror. He doesn't want to share his tank with anyone. One day a new fish appeared and Ugly Fish chased him and ate him. Then another fish was added and he chased her and ate her. Each time Ugly fish got rid of a visitor he became meaner and meaner. Eventually, he got tired of eating his briny flakes, a swimming through his driftwood and thought "If only I hadn't eaten them". Then a new fish appeared. This one was bigger and meaner than U ...more
Melanie
Ugly Fish likes his fish tank the way it is. He has his own driftwood tunnel and enjoyed eating his special fish flakes all by himself. One day a new fish shows up and introduces itself. Ugly fish has no need for this new fish. So he chases the new fish around the tank and then eats him. He does this to 4 more fish and is finally free from new fish in his tank. After awhile, Ugly Fish gets bored with his driftwood tunnel and his special flakes aren't special anymore without someone to share them ...more
Jill Pickle
Ugly Fish is like the anti-Rainbow Fish in the best way. A comic, fun to read, vaguely cautionary tale with an outright shocking ending! You will be thrilled to tears/guffaws!
Madison
Ugly Fish is a gentle introduction to the issues of bullying. Ugly Fish is big and bad and mean and does NOT want to share his tank with any new friends. After eating all of his new companions, Ugly Fish is lonely until Shiny Fish comes along. As it turns out, being a bully is not as fun as he thought it would be.

While I did not like the ending, I thought that the names of each fish (based on what bullies call their victims) were cute, and that the parallelism between pages made the story flow
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Sam
Well, there's a moral.

For the slightly sadistic storytime...
Tim Snell
Genre: Traditional
Copyright: 2006

"Ugly Fish" is a story about well, an ugly fish! Ugly Fish is the king of his domain, in fact he is the only one in his domain until one day he is visited by a new fish, a new fish that ugly fish doesn't necessarily care for.

I loved the illustrations in this book. They are simple, yet very comical! This story had a great moral to it, and I couldn't help but think of Karma when reading this! I recommend this to anyone looking for a fast easy read, who loves fun an
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Bethany
The flyleaf indicates that the author based her story on bullies and bullying: the ending is probably the one that most victims of such taunting would like to see. The characterization of Ugly Fish is simply wonderful, as is that of Shiny Fish. The other fish appear too briefly for any real character development, but they add nicely to the plot.

As with Tadpole's Promise, younger readers should probably understand the food chain before reading this book.
The Styling Librarian
Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Scott Magoon – Here is one of the darkest, twisted picture books… fiercely defend your home until a larger thing comes along… I couldn’t stop laughing through the book but wanted to stop reading it two times as I could tell what was happening next. My son loved it… Ugly Fish is a perfect partner with I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry and This is not my hat by Jon Klassen.
Briana
Sep 13, 2010 Briana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fish lovers and those in tune with reality.
Recommended to Briana by: Sarah Weaver =)
The illustrations are quite comical XD I love how ugly fish's chin sticks out! Well, fish don't have chins; but whatever. Funny and sad. Life is not always fair and sometimes what goes around comes around. Pretty good lessons for children to learn early...rather than being brainwashed into believing life is all magic, handsome princes, and stunning outfits. **steps down from the soapbox** Thank you for the recommendation Say-rah!!! <3
Micah Walls
One of my FAVORITE books ever. This is a must have for any teacher out there. When read with silly voices and enthusiasm, students will thoroughly enjoy this book. Not only is it funny and silly and really brings up great discussion after reading. I had the chance to perform this with my students and they ate it up. We had a great discussion afterwards about treating other like we would treat ourselves. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS!
Christina Robbins
I thought this book was interesting. It shows that being mean to others will bring you nothing but loneliness. It warns that if you are mean to others eventually someone bigger and meaner will come along and treat you just the same. This teaches children the "golden rule" treat others the way you want to be treated. I thought it was a silly book but gave a good point at the end when the ugly fish got eaten.
Jay Bushara
Ugly Fish, bored and set in his ways, needs to learn to share his aquarium with a succession of annoying and obsequious imports, but nothing about that set-up prepares you for the ensuing Darwinism - or maybe it does, and we’re just out of practice. If you think your children are likely to pattern their behavior after a warty, talking fish, then you definitely shouldn't order this book. Otherwise: Enjoy!
Iamaby En
I didn't really like the ending, though it was the only logical conclusion. I just thought it would have been cooler if there had been a twist at the end, instead of ending it with the most obvious conclusion. Love the drawings though. I don't know if I would read this to a toddler...maybe school-aged kids would be better, since this story is good for teaching kids not to be bullies.
S.K.
What a surprise...surely didn't expect this story. Funny to read to my 4.5 year old girls. They were in shock and wanted to know at the end, why Ugly Fish acted the way he did. I just told them this story is a good example of treat others how you'd like to be treated. Succinct.

I had a good laugh and enjoyed the story...my girls, on the other hand, seemed a little concerned.
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Kara LaReau was born and raised in Connecticut. She received her Masters in Fine Arts in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and later worked as an editor at Candlewick Press and Scholastic Press. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and their two cats.
More about Kara LaReau...
Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story Rabbit & Squirrel: A Tale of War and Peas Otto: The boy who loved cars No Slurping, No Burping!: A Tale of Table Manners Snowbaby Could Not Sleep

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